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abrasion: Loss of tooth structure caused by a hard toothbrush, poor brushing technique, or grinding or clenching the teeth
abscess: an infection of a tooth, soft tissue or bone
abutment: tooth or teeth that support a bridge
adhesive dentistry: contemporary term for dental restorations involving "bonding" of composite resin or porcelain fillings to natural teeth
air abrasion: removal of tooth structure by blasting a tooth with air and abrasive particles
alveolar bone: the portion of the jaw bone that anchors the roots of teeth
alveoplasty: a surgical procedure to reshape the bone that anchors teeth
amalgam: common filling material, also known as "silver fillings" containing mercury (50%), silver, tin, copper and zinc
analgesic: a state of pain relief
anesthesia: partial or complete elimination of pain sensation; freezing a tooth is an example of local anesthesia; general anesthesia produces partial or complete unconsciousness
anterior: refers to the area located at the front of the mouth
anterior teeth: the six front teeth in the upper or lower jaw
antibiotic: a drug that stops or slows the growth of bacteria
antibiotic prophylaxis: using antibiotics on patients who are at a high risk for bacterial endocarditis to help kill any bacteria that enter the bloodstream
ANUG: an acronym for Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, commonly known as trench mouth or Vincent's disease
apex: the tip of the root of a tooth
apicoectomy: surgical removal of the root tip
attrition: loss of tooth structure due to natural wear


base: compounds placed under a dental restoration to insulate the nerve
bicuspid or pre-molar: fourth and fifth teeth from the front, ahead of the molars
bifurcation (trifurcation): juncture of two (three) roots in posterior teeth
biopsy: removal of a small piece of tissue for microscopic examination to determine its level of health
bite: relationship of the upper and lower teeth when closed (occlusion)
bitewing: decay detecting x-rays that show only the crown portion of the teeth
bleaching: chemical or laser treatment of natural teeth for whitening effect
bonding: adhesive dental restoration technique; a tooth-colored composite resin to repair and/or change the color or shape of a tooth
braces: devices attached to teeth used by orthodontists to gradually reposition teeth to a more favorable alignment
bridge: a dental prosthesis (appliance) fixed to remaining teeth replacing one or more missing teeth
bruxism: grinding or clenching of the teeth, most commonly while the patient is asleep


calcium: chemical element needed for healthy teeth and bones
calculus: hard buildup, commonly known as "tartar," that forms on teeth due to inadequate plaque control
canker: mouth sore appearing as a small ulcer, often whitish usually lasting ten to fourteen days
cantilever bridge: fixed bridge that attaches to only one tooth adjacent to the missing tooth
cap: common term for a dental crown
caries: tooth decay or cavities
cavitron: dental tool that uses high frequency ultrasonic waves to clean teeth
cellulitis: soft tissue infection causing extensive, hard swelling
cementum: hard outer covering on the roots of teeth
clasp: the portion of a removable partial denture that "clips" onto teeth
cleaning: removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from teeth
composite: tooth colored filling material usually hardened with a high intensity light or chemical catalyst
cosmetic dentistry: dental treatments performed to enhance appearance
cross bite: reverse biting relationship of upper and lower teeth; for example an "under bite"
crown: (1) the portion of a tooth above the gum line; (2) dental restoration covering all or most of the natural tooth
curettage: removal of diseased tissue from a periodontal pocket
cusp: a point or bump on the chewing surface of a posterior tooth
cusp id: an "eye tooth", third tooth from the front
cyst: a soft or hard tissue sac filled with fluid


DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery - equivalent to DMD
DMD: Doctor of Medical Dentistry - equivalent to DDS
deciduous teeth: commonly called "baby teeth," the first set of teeth (usually twenty, five in each quadrant)
dentin: inner layer of tooth structure, immediately under the surface enamel
dental Implant: titanium screw surgically placed in the bone to provide support for a dental restoration or appliance
denture: removable (partial or complete) set of artificial teeth
denturism: the production of dentures dispensed directly by laboratory technicians
diastema: a space between teeth


enamel: hard tissue covering the portion of tooth above the gum line, the hardest substance in the human body
endodontist: specialist who treats injuries, diseases and infections of the tooth pulp (nerve chamber)
eruption: process of teeth protruding through the gums
exfoliation: process of losing deciduous (baby) teeth
exodontia: practice of dental extractions
explorer: sharp instrument used to detect decay on the surface of teeth
extraction: removal of a tooth
eye tooth: the upper and lower canine (cuspid) teeth, third from the front
eimplantation: insertion and temporary fixation of tooth that has been partially or completely knocked out, resulting from traumatic injury


filling: restoration of lost tooth structure with metal, porcelain or resin materials
fistula: a gum boil; pus coming to the surface from an underlying infection site
flap surgery: lifting of gum tissue to allow exposure and cleaning of underlying tooth and bone structures
freeway space: distance between the upper and lower teeth with the lower jaw in rest position
forceps: instrument used for removal of teeth
forensic dentistry: practice of gathering legal evidence for body identification or judicial issues
full denture: removable dental prosthesis (appliance) replacing all upper or lower teeth
full mouth reconstruction: extensive restorations of natural teeth with crowns and or fixed bridges to manage bite problems
frenectomy: removal or reshaping of thin muscle tissue that attaches the upper or lower lips to the gum, or the tongue to the floor of the mouth


general anesthesia: controlled state of unconsciousness
geographic tongue: changes in the usual colour and texture of tongue; does not require treatment
gingiva: gum tissue
gingivectomy: surgical removal of gum tissue
gingivitis: inflammation of gum tissue
graft: surgical removal of healthy gum tissue from one area of the mouth (donor site) and placement in another unhealthy area (recipient site)
gum boil: see fistula.
gum recession: exposure of dental roots due to shrinkage of the gums as a result of abrasion, periodontal disease or surgery


halitosis: bad breath of oral or gastrointestinal origin
heamatoma: swelling and bruising due to blood seepage beneath surface tissues from a ruptured blood vessel
HMO or DMO: health (dental) maintenance organization which specifies a health care (dental) provider a patient may see.
hydrogen peroxide: disinfecting solution used in dental irrigation procedures or as mouth rinse
hygienist: dental auxiliary who cleans teeth, administers local anesthetic and performs periodontal scaling, root planing and polishing
hyperemia: increased blood flow and pressure in a tooth nerve; may cause sensitivity to temperature and sweets; may precede an abscess


impaction: partial or completely unexposed tooth that is wedged against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue, keeping it from erupting
implant: artificial device placed in bone to replace a tooth; may anchor an artificial tooth, bridge, or denture, - see dental implant
impression: mold made of the teeth and soft tissues
incision and drainage: surgical cutting of an abscess to drain pus
incisors: four upper and lower front teeth first and second from front
infiltration: placement of local anesthetic under the gum, allowing it to seep into bone
inlay: filling made by a dental laboratory that is cemented or bonded into place
interproximal: surfaces of adjacent teeth
interocclusal: space between upper and lower teeth
intraoral camera: a small video camera used to view and magnify oral structures and conditions


jacket: crown for a front tooth, usually made entirely of porcelain


laminate: thin plastic or porcelain shell produced in a dental laboratory and then bonded to a tooth
laughing gas: nitrous oxide; odorless gas that produces slight sedation; reduces anxiety and creates a state of relaxation
lesion: injury of bodily tissue due to infection, trauma or neoplasm
local anesthesia: partial or complete elimination of pain sensation, in the immediate vicinity of its application or injection


malocclusion: "bad bite" or misalignment of the upper and lower teeth
mandible: the lower jaw
margin: edge between a restoration and tooth structure
maryland bridge: a bridge that is bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth requiring removal of a minimum of tooth structure
mastication: process of chewing food
maxilla: the upper jaw
meniscus: "disc" or hard cushion between temporomandibluar joint and skull bone
milk teeth: deciduous (baby) teeth
molars: three back teeth in each dental quadrant used for grinding food.
moniliasis (thrush): fungus infection commonly occurring after administration of antibiotic


NSAID: non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, often used as a dental analgesic
nerve chamber
(root canal): the internal chamber of a tooth containing the dental pulp
night guard: acrylic appliance used to prevent wear and temporomandibular damage caused by grinding or gnashing of the teeth during sleep
nitrous oxide: a gas used to reduce patient anxiety
novocain: older brand name for a local anesthetic, currently replaced by safer, more effective agents


occlusion: relationship of the upper and lower teeth upon closure
onlay: laboratory produced restoration covering one or more cusps of a tooth
oral and maxillofacial
surgeon: a dental specialist who manages the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and deformities of the mouth and supporting structures
oral cavity: the mouth
oral hygiene: process of maintaining cleanliness of the teeth and related structures
oral and maxillofacial
oral pathologist: dentist specializing in the study of oral diseases
orthodontics: dental specialty that treats misalignment of teeth (braces)
osseous: pertaining to the bones
overbite: vertical overlap of the front teeth
overdenture: denture that fits over residual roots or dental implants
overjet: horizontal overlap of the front teeth


palate: hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth
palliative treatment: non-invasive relief of irritating conditions
parasthesia: a partial loss of sensation; may be temporary or permanent
partial denture: removable dental prosthesis (appliance) replacing one or more teeth
pathology: study of disease
periapical (PA): (1) region at the end of the roots of teeth; (2) an x-ray taken to see the ends of the roots of teeth
periodontal surgery: reshaping gum and supporting tissue due to disease or for aesthetic reasons
periodontist: dental specialist treating the gums and hard tissues supporting natural teeth
pedodontics or pediatric
dentistry: dental specialty focusing on treatment of children
periodontal chart: record measuring the depth of gum pockets around the teeth
permanent teeth: adult teeth (usually thirty-two)
pit: a small defect in the tooth enamel
plaque: soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth; composed of bacteria and food debris which accumulates on teeth due to inadequate dental hygiene
pontic: false replacement tooth mounted on a fixed or removal appliance
porcelain crown: all porcelain restoration covering the crown portion of tooth (above the gum line) porcelain fused to metal
crown (PFM): restoration with metal understructure (for strength) covered by porcelain (for appearance)
porcelain inlay or onlay: tooth-colored restoration cemented or bonded in place
porcelain veneers: a thin layer of porcelain, fabricated by a laboratory, bonded to a natural tooth to replace lost tooth structure, close spaces, straighten teeth or change colour and/or shape
post: thin metal rod cemented into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy (like reinforcing bar in concrete)
post-core: post and buildup material replacing lost tooth structure to retain a crown
post-crown: single unit that combines post-core and crown as one piece
prognosis: the anticipated outcome of treatment
prophylaxis: cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of periodontal disease and tooth decay
prosthesis: an artificial appliance for the replacement for one or more teeth
prosthodontist: dental specialist skilled in restoring or replacing teeth with fixed or removable prostheses (appliances)
pulp: the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue inside a tooth
pulp cap: a medicated covering over a small area of exposed pulp tissue
pulp chamber: the center or innermost portion of the tooth containing the pulp
pulpectomy: complete removal of the pulp (commonly done in children's teeth)
pulpitis: inflammation of the pulp; common cause of toothache
pulpotomy: partial removal of the majority of the pulp tissue
pyorrhea: older term for periodontal (gum) disease


quadrant: One of the four equal sections of the mouth. The upper right, upper left, lower right or the lower left.


reline: replacement of acrylic portion of a denture base to compensate for bone loss; direct: done at in the office; indirect: in conjunction with a dental laboratory
restoration: replacement of a portion of tooth structure
root: portion of the tooth that connects it to the jaw bone
retained root: piece of a root remaining in jaw after extraction or fracture of a natural tooth
root canal: (1) common term for root canal treatment; (2) the interior space in the root of the tooth which houses the nerve
root canal therapy: process of removing pulp of a tooth and filling it with an inert material
root resection: removal of a portion of diseased root structure, allowing the remainder of the natural tooth to survive
rubber dam: latex sheet used to isolate one or more teeth from contamination by oral fluids and to keep materials from falling to the back of the throat during dental procedures


saliva: clear fluid in the mouth containing water, enzymes, mucus and indigested food particles
saliva ejector: suction tube placed in the mouth to remove saliva
salivary glands: located under tongue and in cheeks, produce saliva
scaling and root planing: removal of plaque and calculus from tooth surfaces above and below the gum line
sealants: thin resin material bonded in the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of back teeth for the prevention of food entrapment and decay
secondary dentin: reparative tooth structure produced by the pulp in response to trauma
sequestrum: piece of bone loosened in an extraction site
sinusitis: inflammation of the sinus that may mimic dental pain
sleep apnea: the periodic interruption or delay in breathing during sleep
space maintainer: dental device that holds the space following premature loss of a baby tooth
splint: connecting of two or more teeth together so they function as a stronger single structure
supernumerary tooth: extra tooth
suppuration: bacterial pus
surgery: surgical procedures on the mouth including extractions, removal of cysts or tumors, and repair of fractured jaws


tartar: common term for dental calculus, a hard deposit that adheres to teeth
TMD (or tmj disorder): temperomandibular disorder; term given to condition with symptoms of facial pain and restricted ability to open or move the jaw
TMJ: the temporomandibular joint, the point where the lower jaw attaches to the skull
third-party provider: insurance company, union, government agency that pays all or a part of cost of dental treatment
tooth whitening: a chemical process to lighten the colour of teeth
topical anesthetic: gel that produces mild anesthesia when applied to tissue surface
torus: boney "bump" on the palate or lower jaw
transplant: placing a natural tooth in the empty socket of another tooth
trauma: injury caused by decay, external force, chemical, temperature extremes, or poor tooth alignment
trench mouth: gum disease characterized by severe mouth sores and loss of tissue. See ANUG.


unerupted tooth: a tooth that has not pushed through the gum and assumed its correct position in the dental arch


veneer: porcelain facing bonded directly to a tooth to improve its appearance. See laminate.
vertical dimension: space between upper and lower jaws upon closure; may decrease over time due to wear, shifting or damage to the teeth


wisdom teeth: third (last) molars that usually erupt at age 18-25


xerostomia: dry mouth or decrease in the production of saliva

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Burnaby Heights Dental Centre, Dentists Burnaby Heights, Dental Centre Burnaby Heights, Dental Health Care Clinic, BC, General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Surgical Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Canada, British Columbia, BC

Burnaby Heights dental centre is dental health care clinic, dental center with Burnaby Heights dentists offering general, cosmetic dentistry, surgical, implant dentistry, family dentistry in British Columbia, BC, Canada

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4330 Hastings Street Burnaby, BC V5C 2J9
(604) 320-7321
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